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Memorial Day services set around Pickens County

COUNTY — On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th at 9 a.m. at the Sunrise Cemetery in Pickens, Post 11 of More »

Mayor won’t run for another term

Editor’s note: Pickens Mayor David Owens recently asked the Courier for space to run an important message about his nearly More »

Moving Forward!

County council considering Hagood Mill plan By Jason Evans Staff Reporter jevans@thepccourier.com PICKENS — Pickens County Council members are considering More »

Company hires students for new apprenticeship program

LIBERTY — King Asphalt has hired four Pickens County Career & Technology Center students for its newly developed apprenticeship program. More »

No justice for Earle

Guilty go free as mob acquitted in state’s last lynching By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr. Special to The Courier For More »

Boughman presented FSL scholarship

By Bru Nimmons Staff Reporter bnimmons@thepccourier.com LIBERTY — The Friends of the Sarlin Library presented their annual scholarship award to More »

 

Memorial Day services set around Pickens County

COUNTY — On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th at 9 a.m. at the Sunrise Cemetery in Pickens, Post 11 of the American Legion, will  honor our fallen veterans.

The ceremony will feature guest speaker, Donna Harden, who is the principal at Pickens Elementary school.

The Knights of Columbus assembly# 3065 will carry the colors and present them to our staff members: Terry Gromlovits (Post Commander) and Randall Wood (Post Adjutant).

Following that presentation, the unit will proceed to Robinson Funeral Home on SC Highway 8, at 11 a.m. for another flag raising and then at noon at Aunt Sues Country Restaurant (SC Highway 11) for a third presentation.

The day’s ceremonies will commence with a Memorial Flag Pole and War Memorial Wall dedication at the American Legion Post 11 Meeting Hall at the end of Hagood St. Pickens at 1 p.m. The public is invited.

 

Mayor won’t run for another term

Editor’s note: Pickens Mayor David Owens recently asked the Courier for space to run an important message about his nearly two decades of service to the city, including four terms as mayor. His letter is published in its entirety starting below.

Dear citizens of the city of Pickens,

I have spent a great deal of time lately just reminiscing about the past 19 years of my public service. While the many accomplishments related to improvements in our community over the years certainly generate a reasonable sense of pride, it is exceeded by the gratitude I feel for having been given the opportunity to serve the community as a council member for three years and as mayor for the past 16 years.

During my tenure in these positions with the city, it has been a true privilege to serve the people. I just want to mention a few of many improvements over the years, as well as accomplishments, made possible through the cooperation from many constituents and leaders in the community.

During my time as a council member, the hospitality tax, designed to fund and promote tourism-related programs, was enacted.

Under the leadership of former Mayor Ted Shehan, ground was broken for the construction of the Pickens Recreation Center in 2003. The center was completed in 2005, during my first term as mayor. Our recreation facilities and programmatic activities are

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Moving Forward!

County council considering Hagood Mill plan

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens County Council members are considering a plan that would see the Hagood Mill Foundation take over the mill’s operations.

County tourism director Jay Pitts, former foundation chair Betty McDaniel and foundation board member David Hosea presented the plan to council during its budget work session Monday evening.

“You asked us to look at ways to continue what’s going on at Hagood Mill at a reasonable cost,” county administrator Gerald Wilson said. “We’ve looked at public-private partnership.”

Pitts asked council to think about “two simple questions.”

“What’s best for Pickens County and then what’s best for Hagood Mill?” he said.

The last few weeks, which have seen the termination of Hagood Mill site director Billy Crawford and McDaniel’s resignation as foundation chair,

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Board considering changing Liberty elementary schools

By Ron Barnett

Staff Reporter

rbarnett@thepccourier.com

LIBERTY — The Pickens County School Board will be voting June 7 on a proposal that would consolidate the attendance zones of Liberty and Chastain Road elementary schools, and have Chastain Road serve Pre-K through second grade and Liberty grades 3-5.

The realignment, if approved, would take place in the 2020-21 school year.

And based on the relatively small turnout of about 30 people at a community meeting held at Liberty High School last week, most Liberty families are at least OK with the idea, according to school board chair Brian Swords, who represents the Liberty area.

The main criticisms board members heard were about the potential for parents to have to go through dropoff and pickup lines at two

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Glimmer of hope for fibro patients

I am about to break one of the biggest stories in recent medical history, right here in the Pickens County Courier, and I’m not kidding.

Here’s the big news: Metformin, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes, can significantly ease if not cure the pain and misery of fibromyalgia.

Now, if you don’t know what fibromyalgia is, this may mean very little to you. But if you’re like me and live with someone who suffers from this debilitating disease, believe me, this is huge. And there are a lot of people — most of them women — who struggle with this malady right here in Pickens County, and I hope I’m getting the word out to some people who can benefit from it.

Before you start thinking I’m just extrapolating some unscientific observation about my wife, Kathy, the fibro patient in my life, let me point out that she’s only been taking Metformin for a couple of days, and it’s too early to tell how much effect this is going to have on her.

The reason I have great hope that this is going to work is because a study was published on May 6 about research done at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in which researchers “were able to dramatically reduce the pain of fibromyalgia patients with medication that targeted insulin resistance,” according to a press release from the university. That medication is Metformin.

So how am I, a lowly semi-retired journalist in the backwoods of South Carolina, able to

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County plans to dissolve 13 fire boards

Hearing set before final vote June 3

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens County residents will have an opportunity to speak for or against officials’ efforts to dissolve the county’s 13 fire boards next month.

During its meeting last week, county council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance dissolving the boards. The boards are set to be replaced by the county’s Emergency Services Board.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled before third reading at council’s June 3 meeting.

Easley resident Harry Carson said at last week’s meeting officials have not given people enough notice about the meetings.

“They say they want public input on stuff,” he said. “They ran two legal notices for a public forum May 3 at 6:30 p.m. Did we have it? No, we didn’t. We changed the date.”

While county council usual meets the first Monday of the month, its May meeting was

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Blue Ridge Fest raises record $235K for charities

PICKENS — The 22nd annual Blue Ridge Fest, held on May 3, raised a record-breaking amount of $235,000 to benefit local nonprofit organizations in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, according to a news release from Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative.

Since the event’s inception, Blue Ridge Fest has raised nearly $3 million for local human help organizations that provide people with basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and health care.

The charities receiving funds in 2019 include A Child’s Haven, Anderson Free Clinic, Anderson Interfaith Ministries, Cancer Association of Pickens County, the Dream Center of Pickens County, Feed a Hungry Child, Fostering Faithfully, Golden Corner Food Pantry, Grace’s Closet, the

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Pickens County Council to hear update on new drug program

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

jevans@thepccourier.com

PICKENS — Pickens County Council will receive an update next month on a program that aims to help provide opioid addicts with pathways to treatment.

During last week’s county council meeting, Councilman Chris Bowers said officials with the Community Out-reach by Paramedic Education (COPE) program would like to get on council’s June agenda.

Pickens County officials announced the launch of the COPE program in late January. The county is the first in the state to launch the program, which sees community paramedics and peer support specialists visit residents who have recently received Narcan, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses.

Bowers Emergency Services community paramedics and

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Spring celebration

The weather was warm and the sun was bright for last Saturday’s “Celebrate Liberty Spring Festival.” The event was held in downtown Liberty and featured crafters, food vendors, music including Luke Smith (pictured above), inflatables and many other activites for the whole family. The event was sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, AM Mechanical, the city of Liberty, PTS and LibertySCevents.com.

Rocky Nimmons/Courier

 

Birds of a feather flock together

The recent county attack on the Hagood Mill operation is just one more blow to the county’s reputation. Whatever the motive behind this ill-judged action, some things are clear.

Several statements from the county administrator are misleading at best.

First, an organization classified as a nonprofit is not operating as a for-profit. By law, making a profit isn’t what nonprofits operate for.

Second, since the county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following year, the statement that Hagood Mill’s funds would soon be depleted is correct, although not complete in itself. But as each county department is funded a year at a time and each department’s budget is projected annually, it is true to say that every department in the county will be out of money at the end of the year.

Other nonprofits have been targets also — not just the Hagood Mill. For example, the same logic was applied when there was a recent attempt to close the Sarlin Community

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